As you read this, thank a lineman.

The safe, reliable electrical service that’s powering your computer or charging your cell phone owes a lot to the work of the men and women who maintain and upgrade our grid. That includes not only linemen, but also electricians, helpers, troublemen, ground hands, meter technicians, and others who work in the field.

There is no universally designated date to honor those who keep the electric delivery system running, but April 18 is one commonly celebrated day.

So, at this time of year, we give a round of applause to all those who work on the nearly 50,000 miles of power lines, hundreds of substations, and other equipment that powers the lives of our customers.

“Everyone who builds and maintains our system plays an important part in providing you with safe, reliable service,” said Dave Bonenberger, vice president-Distribution Operations. “When storms hit or system problems arise, they’re out on the front lines at all times of the day in all types of weather.  These employees and their families make sacrifices to ensure our customers have safe and reliable service.  We appreciate their effort, knowledge and dedication.”

It’s true that technology plays an increasing role in outage restoration. We’re now using automated system switching that can restore some customers to service within minutes of a problem occurring.

But the switching software can’t restore all customers in most cases. Nor can it do the hard work of going out into the field – often in difficult conditions — and repairing the pole, line or transformer where the problem occurred.

Our linemen and other front-line employees do that, bringing years of experience and know-how to each job, as well as a commitment to safety.

We hope you’ll join us in thanking these employees – in person, in the comments section of this post, or in your thoughts the next time you flick a switch and the power goes on.

Some great videos featuring our employees on the front lines:

Here’s one of our linemen talking about his commitment to the job …

… and a PPL troubleman talking about the work he does in the field.